THE DAISY

故事導讀:Now listen! In the country, close by the high road, stood a farmhouse; perhaps you have passed by and seen it yourself. There was a little flower garden with painted wooden palings in front of it; close by was a ditch, on its fresh green bank grew a

THE DAISY

    Now listen! In the country, close by the high road, stooda farmhouse; perhaps you have passed by and seen it yourself.There was a little flower garden with painted wooden palingsin front of it; close by was a ditch, on its fresh green bankgrew a little daisy; the sun shone as warmly and brightly uponit as on the magnificent garden flowers, and therefore itthrived well. One morning it had quite opened, and its littlesnow-white petals stood round the yellow centre, like the raysof the sun. It did not mind that nobody saw it in the grass,and that it was a poor despised flower; on the contrary, itwas quite happy, and turned towards the sun, looking upwardand listening to the song of the lark high up in the air.    The little daisy was as happy as if the day had been agreat holiday, but it was only Monday. All the children wereat school, and while they were sitting on the forms andlearning their lessons, it sat on its thin green stalk andlearnt from the sun and from its surroundings how kind God is,and it rejoiced that the song of the little lark expressed sosweetly and distinctly its own feelings. With a sort ofreverence the daisy looked up to the bird that could fly andsing, but it did not feel envious. "I can see and hear," itthought; "the sun shines upon me, and the forest kisses me.How rich I am!"    In the garden close by grew many large and magnificentflowers, and, strange to say, the less fragrance they had thehaughtier and prouder they were. The peonies puffed themselvesup in order to be larger than the roses, but size is noteverything! The tulips had the finest colours, and they knewit well, too, for they were standing bolt upright likecandles, that one might see them the better. In their pridethey did not see the little daisy, which looked over to themand thought, "How rich and beautiful they are! I am sure thepretty bird will fly down and call upon them. Thank God, thatI stand so near and can at least see all the splendour." Andwhile the daisy was still thinking, the lark came flying down,crying "Tweet," but not to the peonies and tulips- no, intothe grass to the poor daisy. Its joy was so great that it didnot know what to think. The little bird hopped round it andsang, "How beautifully soft the grass is, and what a lovelylittle flower with its golden heart and silver dress isgrowing here." The yellow centre in the daisy did indeed looklike gold, while the little petals shone as brightly assilver.    How happy the daisy was! No one has the least idea. Thebird kissed it with its beak, sang to it, and then rose againup to the blue sky. It was certainly more than a quarter of anhour before the daisy recovered its senses. Half ashamed, yetglad at heart, it looked over to the other flowers in thegarden; surely they had witnessed its pleasure and the honourthat had been done to it; they understood its joy. But thetulips stood more stiffly than ever, their faces were pointedand red, because they were vexed. The peonies were sulky; itwas well that they could not speak, otherwise they would havegiven the daisy a good lecture. The little flower could verywell see that they were ill at ease, and pitied themsincerely.    Shortly after this a girl came into the garden, with alarge sharp knife. She went to the tulips and began cuttingthem off, one after another. "Ugh!" sighed the daisy, "that isterrible; now they are done for."    The girl carried the tulips away. The daisy was glad thatit was outside, and only a small flower- it felt verygrateful. At sunset it folded its petals, and fell asleep, anddreamt all night of the sun and the little bird.    On the following morning, when the flower once morestretched forth its tender petals, like little arms, towardsthe air and light, the daisy recognised the bird's voice, butwhat it sang sounded so sad. Indeed the poor bird had goodreason to be sad, for it had been caught and put into a cageclose by the open window. It sang of the happy days when itcould merrily fly about, of fresh green corn in the fields,and of the time when it could soar almost up to the clouds.The poor lark was most unhappy as a prisoner in a cage. Thelittle daisy would have liked so much to help it, but whatcould be done? Indeed, that was very difficult for such asmall flower to find out. It entirely forgot how beautifuleverything around it was, how warmly the sun was shining, andhow splendidly white its own petals were. It could only thinkof the poor captive bird, for which it could do nothing. Thentwo little boys came out of the garden; one of them had alarge sharp knife, like that with which the girl had cut thetulips. They came straight towards the little daisy, whichcould not understand what they wanted.    "Here is a fine piece of turf for the lark," said one ofthe boys, and began to cut out a square round the daisy, sothat it remained in the centre of the grass.    "Pluck the flower off" said the other boy, and the daisytrembled for fear, for to be pulled off meant death to it; andit wished so much to live, as it was to go with the square ofturf into the poor captive lark's cage.    "No let it stay," said the other boy, "it looks sopretty".    And so it stayed, and was brought into the lark's cage.The poor bird was lamenting its lost liberty, and beating itswings against the wires; and the little daisy could not speakor utter a consoling word, much as it would have liked to doso. So the forenoon passed.    "I have no water," said the captive lark, "they have allgone out, and forgotten to give me anything to drink. Mythroat is dry and burning. I feel as if I had fire and icewithin me, and the air is so oppressive. Alas! I must die, andpart with the warm sunshine, the fresh green meadows, and allthe beauty that God has created." And it thrust its beak intothe piece of grass, to refresh itself a little. Then itnoticed the little daisy, and nodded to it, and kissed it withits beak and said: "You must also fade in here, poor littleflower. You and the piece of grass are all they have given mein exchange for the whole world, which I enjoyed outside. Eachlittle blade of grass shall be a green tree for me, each ofyour white petals a fragrant flower. Alas! you only remind meof what I have lost."    "I wish I could console the poor lark," thought the daisy.It could not move one of its leaves, but the fragrance of itsdelicate petals streamed forth, and was much stronger thansuch flowers usually have: the bird noticed it, although itwas dying with thirst, and in its pain tore up the greenblades of grass, but did not touch the flower.    The evening came, and nobody appeared to bring the poorbird a drop of water; it opened its beautiful wings, andfluttered about in its anguish; a faint and mournful "Tweet,tweet," was all it could utter, then it bent its little headtowards the flower, and its heart broke for want and longing.The flower could not, as on the previous evening, fold up itspetals and sleep; it dropped sorrowfully. The boys only camethe next morning; when they saw the dead bird, they began tocry bitterly, dug a nice grave for it, and adorned it withflowers. The bird's body was placed in a pretty red box; theywished to bury it with royal honours. While it was alive andsang they forgot it, and let it suffer want in the cage; now,they cried over it and covered it with flowers. The piece ofturf, with the little daisy in it, was thrown out on the dustyhighway. Nobody thought of the flower which had felt so muchfor the bird and had so greatly desired to comfort it.                            THE END

一般般

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